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5/2/13 - Newman receives SEC Faculty Achievement Award

A Mississippi State aerospace engineering professor and researcher specializing in the structural safety of aircraft is among selections for a 2013 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award.

At the university, James C. Newman Jr. holds the rank of Giles Distinguished Professor--the land-grant institution's highest faculty rank--and the Richard H. Johnson Chair of Aerospace Engineering in the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering.

A principal investigator whose research grants currently total more than $3.6 million, he is a specialist in fatigue and fracture mechanics of materials and aircraft structures. He led the development of a fracture standard test method for thin-sheet materials that was adopted in 2006 by the American Society for Testing and Materials. In 2011, he was honored with MSU's Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award.


James C. Newman Jr.

"Dr. Newman's research in the field of fatigue, fracture, and safety analysis of engineering structures has been pioneering and influential," said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. "His research has broad applicability, with the most significant impact on aerospace vehicles," he added.

Keenum said Newman's depth of knowledge, engaging teaching style, outstanding research contributions, and international recognition as a fracture expert are valued by his colleagues on campus and throughout the world.

Chosen by a selection committee of provosts at the 14 conference institutions, the SEC Faculty Achievement Award is part of non-athletically related activities the organization has undertaken through its academic initiative to encourage academic leadership and collaboration within the membership.

Each of the 14 winners receives a $5,000 honorarium and becomes their school's nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year Award. Both awards first were presented last year.

Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert echoed Keenum's praise.

"We are extremely proud to have a world-class engineer like Dr. Newman represent MSU this year as our SEC Faculty Achievement Award recipient," Gilbert said. "He represents the best of the very best and is a tremendous role model for students and other faculty members."

Newman is a Memphis, Tenn., native who holds a doctorate in engineering mechanics from Virginia Tech University. After spending nearly 40 years as a senior scientist at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., he returned to the Mid-South in 2001 to join MSU's aerospace engineering department.

Newman also recently was named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He earlier was honored as a Fellow of the American Society for Testing and Materials and Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

A member of the American Society for Engineering Education, he additionally holds the U.S. Air Force John W. Lincoln Aircraft Structural Integrity Medal and a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Fatigue Damage of Structural Materials organization.

Established by the SEC presidents and chancellors and administered by the provosts, the SEC Faculty Achievement and SEC Professor of the Year awards are designed to recognize leading faculty members for their research and teaching accomplishments, scholarly contributions and discoveries.

To be eligible for the honors, an individual must have achieved the rank of full professor, with demonstrated records of teaching and scholarship that are recognized nationally and/or internationally.

With headquarters in Birmingham, Ala., the SEC is believed to be the first Division I National Collegiate Athletic Association conference to honor faculty for achievements in research and scholarship, completely unrelated to athletics or student-athletes.

Allison Matthews | University Relations

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